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Energy Development Threats to Conservation

In an alarming trend over the last few years, large swaths of farms, forests and wildlands permanently protected for the benefit of the public have been targeted for the siting of energy infrastructure projects.  As climate and energy bills move through Congress, the push for rapid development of low carbon energy and new transmission lines should not, as an unintended consequence, undo years of work and public and private investment in conservation.

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Proposals for new transmission lines and other energy development threats to conserved lands are showing up all around the country.  Please tell us about other concerns in your region and sign up for our e-mail discussion list on this topic.

Transmission Lines Threaten Conserved Land

Urgent Call to Action

Don’t Want Transmission Towers on Your Easements? Tell the Planners Where They Are!

Our work to ensure that new transmission lines avoid and mitigate for impacts to privately conserved land is paying off! We’ve won a seat at the table, but now transmission planners need good data on lands they should avoid – quickly!  They’ll be pulling data from the Protected Areas Database (PAD-US) and the new National Conservation Easement Database (NCED). Learn how you can get your easements included.

The U.S. Congress has enacted and is considering additional energy policies to facilitate the creation of many new high-voltage transmission power lines across America.  Some of these new policies bypass traditional reliance on state and local planning, and pose an imminent threat to lands conserved by land trusts and state and local governments.  For example, the “National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor” designation allows utilities federal condemnation authority to site transmission lines and is exempt from environmental review and land use laws.

The Land Trust Alliance requests your assistance to see that important conservation lands are recognized and avoided in the siting of energy transmission facilities.

Conceptual Transmission Map

Click here for full sized map.

Key Documents


Links to Detailed Information

For more details, please contact Andy Oliver, our lead consultant on this issue, at 202-518-1146 or

Gas Drilling Spreads to New Regions

New drilling technologies enable the recovery of natural gas in areas where drilling was once thought to be remote.  For example, development of the Marcellus Shale formation, which spans much of the Mid-Atlantic Region, is presenting land trusts and landowners with challenging questions as drilling sites, pipelines and associated water quality issues spread across the landscape.

We will provide more information on gas drilling over time, but for now, we encourage you to visit partners on the front lines of this issue:

Shale Gas Plays

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